Ships from Standing Maritime Group 1 (SNMG1) and Standing NATO Mine Countermeasures Group 1 (SNMCMG1) are sailing into the Baltic Sea and will participate in exercises with bordering Allied and partner nations.

According to a news release, SNMG1 led by Commodore A. van de Sande of the Royal Netherlands Navy, consists of the flagship HNLMS De Zeven Provincien, the German Combat Support Ship FGS Berlin, HDMS Peter Willemoes, FGS Erfurt, and HMS Northumberland.

“SNMCMG1 is currently led by Commander Ott Laanemets and is comprised of LVSN Virsaitis, BNS Lobelia, FGS Bad Bevensen, ENS Sakala, HMS Grimsby, HNLMS Schiedam, HNOMS Hinnoy. SNMCMG1 consisting of minehunters from different nations is continuously ready at short notice to bring the capabilities, skills and expertise to clear underwater explosives and provide maritime safety.

SNMG1 and SNMCMG1 are two of four task groups composed of ships from various allied countries. These vessels are continuously available to NATO to perform different tasks ranging from participation in exercises to operational missions. They also are currently part of the NATO Very High Readiness Joint Task Force (VJTF) while exhibiting forward presence and contributing to operational coherence among allied naval forces to support greater regional security and stability.”

NATO regularly deploys maritime forces in the Baltic Sea in order to maintain a credible and capable defensive capability in accordance with treaty obligations.

George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. He also works for the NHS. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
64 Comments
oldest
newest
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago

Would the likes of Kennedy and Ragan have placed a carrier group in this sea, as a warning to Putin when he began his threats, and military exercises, prior to the invasion of Ukraine? Such a policy has been used in the past, especially in the Med. Sadly, we might be just weeks if not days before a direct clash with Russia, as Putin’s grip and competency face more humiliation. The loss of a capital ship has shaken the Kremlin, and we can only hope it will mark the end of this tyrant?

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

We are certainly entering a potentially dangerous escalation… On one hand, Russia has proven to be a toothless tiger, against a well trained, balanced and focused force ( Sweden and Finland) they would be thrown back reeling from the punches and licking their wounds, with Russian pilots hanging from fur trees from their parachute harnesses and burning tanks as far as the eye can see…. On the other hand, the possibility of a nuclear incident is growing by the week and I wouldn’t put it past the Russians to attack shipping in the Baltic or North Atlantic …. And of… Read more »

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Indeed, when someone almost certainly not in the best of health is expecting to leave a legacy akin to Peter the Great and is faced with it turning into Charlie Chaplin as Hitler I fear little is off the scope of possibility. He won’t I fear go down without trying to claim he lost to NATO rather than Ukraine so who knows in the final throws of madness esp as May 9th approaches what provocation he will try in an attempt to cover up why he is parading pickups with broom handles in Red Square.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Sadly I doubt the Russian Army will be as incompetent in their next phase,viz. attacking the Ukrainian Army in the Donbass. They will have learned lessons from Phase 1, their supply lines will be shorter, they will achieve greater concentration of force and they will meet up with in-place Russian-speaking collaborators/militia who can provide local knowledge and mutual support.

Last edited 1 month ago by Graham Moore
Esteban
Esteban
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Hard to have much shorter supply lines than when you’re leaving from your own damn country. Via highways and rail lines

Slmgr
Slmgr
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

By concentrating the battleground in the East how will only Russian-Speaking people of Donbas and Luhansk be spared if Putin really means good to save them from Ukrainian mistreatment?
🤔🤔

Last edited 1 month ago by Slmgr
Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

I do think he will be seeing this as a real threat building up around him now, there will be those around him who will start to think the humiliation could get a lot worse and impossible to hide so best to close it down now, and that will be clear to Putin too leading to the overnight threat to the US et al. Will he go full Adolf and will others step in before or as he does so is the big question I fear. We have to hold our nerve whatever because if we don’t we just ensure… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Why do you single out the US in your first sentence? The US is a long way away – Putin’s threat is to eastern Europeans surely. Perhaps I missed a news story?

Martin
Martin
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

No operating a carrier in the Baltic is a bad idea, it would be highly vulnerable passing Kaliningrad and unable to manoeuvre in tight restricted water. I don’t think it would send the message.

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Exactly what I thought. The Baltic is easily covered by shore launched anti ship weapons and would be an awful place for a carrier battle group. Far better to have it else where. Land based aircraft can cover the Baltic Sea much better. Also frigates and diesel subs can operate in the Baltic.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Agree. A carrier can be in the North sea. Protected by RAF, Dutch, Norwegian, French, German air forces and NATOs air defence network and still project air power into and throughout the Baltic. Keep any notion of a carrier entering the Baltics as a fantasy . Too tight. Lack of maneuvering space, too many ambush locations from submarines/ sub surface threats. Would also take the ship within range of long range anti ship hyper sonic, ballistic or cruise missiles.

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin

Yes, you make a good point.

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

“NATO needs to ready itself for the worst case and the worst case is war”
-NATO’s former Deputy Supreme Allied Commander Europe

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_RVtqQA404

He tells us that NATO needs to be prepared for the worst-case scenario and that NATO must build an impenetrable defensive line from the Baltics down to the Black Sea…

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Wolf

All nato forces should of been getting ready on day 1 of the war and some moving into defensive positions. Some have like the Americans but if Ukraine had of fallen in 2 days as planned who knows where Russia would of rolled into next. Ukraine has a window of maybe a week more to get kit into the country before russia starts a heavy ground attack again. It’s already been a week so really guess work as to how long Russia will take to regroup and launch again. If large numbers of nato troops were nearer Ukraine they could… Read more »

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

I believe Russia was looking to secure all of Ukraine and then possibly move into Moldova to secure the geographical border of the Carpathian Mountains between Europe and Russia. The North European Plain that stretches from Germany almost right to Moscow has always been a disadvantage for Russia defensively and Putin doesn’t like that. It is to Russia a ‘security threat’ posed by NATO. Mr. Putin is deluded himself so who knows what will happen next.
Slava Ukraini

maurice10
maurice10
1 month ago
Reply to  Wolf

In truth, this conflict could go in many directions, however, with the loss of a capital ship, Putin must now be feeling the heat from all three services. Neither of which has performed particularly well and I doubt the land element will be capable of breaking back into the western regions of Ukraine again? A stalemate situation may exist where Russia holds the current eastern regions, plus, those new areas they’ve taken, and a standoff ensues, possibly for decades?

Wolf
Wolf
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Possibly, but I think the war is only over once the east and the south (Ukrainian Territory) are back in Ukrainian hands.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  maurice10

Maurice, what makes you think NATO is edging closer to war with Russia?
NATO seems wedded to its policy of avoiding direct contact, boosting eFP and tacitly supporting members supplying arms and imposing sanctions.

The loss of Moskva will have infuriated and embarrassed Putin – I just don’t see it will spell the end of his regime.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

So, 3 Frigates, 1 Corvette, 7 Minesweepers and a Support Ship.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

We should be the ones to warn of “unpredictable consequences” for any further aggression against Ukraine. Rather than giving Putin carte blanche by saying we would not intervene we should be meeting force with force. Enough of allowing the rape of Ukraine.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

We’ll be accused of warmongering but 100%, Poo Tin ((c) @airborne ) needs to be put back in his box and told to Foxtrot Oscar.

Every Russian Braid and Senior yes person needs to know they are dead, and so is every member of their families, from just born grand daughter to all the babuskas if they let the mad Czar continue.

Russia to be nuked and every family member hunted down on what’s left of earth.

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Exactly Frank!! How the hell does Russia think that what they’re doing is right, moral, justified, even noble!? Their leadership is very twisted. I hope Ukraine with Western support can but up a very solid “brick wall” of offensive defence for him to walk right into! What a sod. Demolishing Mariupol, absolutely disgusting. Strength to Ukraine 🇺🇦, its people, its forces and its president!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

*but… put

Mike Thomas
Mike Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

There is a fine line between exercising preparing for the event of war and being the invader or cause. The Articles of NATO preclude any first strike as it is principally and self defence. Putin knows that. He also knows now first hand NATO will be more formidable than Ukraine and he would suffer significant losses perhaps even total losses of his forces in Ukraine. I suspect now he has secured Mariupol he will sue for peace quickly try to keep what little he has been able to win. Then again who knows, his decision making does not seem rational.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Thomas

Putin will not be content until and unless he seizes the Donbas and achieves a land bridge to the Crimea. He would like to add Odesa to his conquest as a bonus, if he can.

Peregrine16
Peregrine16
1 month ago

Do we know if Northumberland has had the big upgrade (I e. New diesels, sea ceptor etc)?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Peregrine16

Yes she has sea ceptor missiles that have replaced sea wolf. Not sure about the diesels. The type 23 are very capable ships

Nicholas
Nicholas
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Not so capable for shooting back. Its a pity a lurking Astute couldn’t ease a nice Tomahawk up Putin’s arse. I imagine, though, that all conceivable options are being discussed.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Its for the Russian people to decide who rules them and is their head of state. Regimen change is upto Russia and is the only way they have out of this cluster f$%$ of a mess of their own making.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

We weren’t so squeamish about pursuing and achieving regime change in Iraq and Libya.

Crabfat
Crabfat
1 month ago
Reply to  Mr Bell

“Its for the Russian people to decide”. You’re talking about Democracy, Mr B. Democracy in Russia is a dead duck, courtesy of Putin. When he controls all the media, the police, judiciary, et al; when he can drag an old lady off the street just for waving an anti-war placard; when he can just roll into parts of a sovereign country (Crimea, Donbas, etc.) and the West says nothing, then all sense of democracy and basic justice In Russia is gone. No, I cannot imagine the Russian people being able to remove Putin and his cronies any time soon. Sad… Read more »

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Nicholas

Or “Putin” him a tank and blow it up! What a vile, arrogant and evil man. Hope the Ukrainian forces are able sink some more Russian ships lurking around and blow the Kerch bridge off its joints!!!

Quentin D63
Quentin D63
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

Even with subs available It would be good if the T23s have all got a full Harpoon fit out as they might need everyone of them! And isn’t their expiry date coming up soon?

Nicholas
Nicholas
1 month ago
Reply to  Quentin D63

Out of service next year and stocks too low for all frigates to be armed with them.

Mr Bell
Mr Bell
1 month ago

Cue Putin or one of his cronies threatening terrible unpredictable consequences for NATO forces daring to patrol their soverign seas and own back yards.
Muppets.

dan
dan
1 month ago

Comes down to Putin not accepting that Russia is no longer a major player on the international stage and that China has taken it’s place. The little man will do anything to keep his beloved Stalinist Russia alive. And he’s well aware that Biden is old and scared of any conflict with him. Biden only did something after Boris lead the way. Without Boris’ leadership most of Ukraine would be occupied by Russia now.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

Boris’ leadership failed to deter a Russian invasion & failed to honour the UK/USAs’ treaty to safeguard Ukraines’ soveriegnty & integrety. What Boris has achieved is allowing Putin to get on with it while being chief cheer leader/jacket holder while rivers of Ukrainian blood flows. Sanctions were very slow to bite so all his mates/sponsers from Russia could side step most. For all we are doing, it is still short of our obligation & of what Ukraine actually needed. Rather than Churchillian he is a busted, drowned rat, in way over his head. Dangerous to have such an amatuer in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Peter Hulme
Peter Hulme
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

Dream on — Hitler did , read up the Invasion of Russia and the difficulties both sides had before the matter finally went the Red Army’s way . Most of of WW2 the Army was in retreat , then finally in the desert it went the way of the Desert Rats — but only because the RN virtually driven out of the Med’ made up the huge escort for the Tanker OHIO —look it up . Oh and let’s not think about Dunkirk that a number of my family survived . In the Pacific read up the thrashing the Japanese… Read more »

dave12
dave12
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Hulme

It seem Rus has not learned anything ever with its military , just pile in the tanks and troops trying overwhelm its enemy with massive Rus losses , same with WW2 as now but remember Russia forces are much smaller now with a much smaller budget.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  dave12

I would be surprised if Russia has not learned anything from a very poor performance in Phase 1. Let us not be smug about how things may go in the Battle for the Donbas.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter Hulme

That is a weapons grade rant.

Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

I’m not a great Boris fan but what potential Prime Minister do you expect would have deterred the Russian invasion of Ukraine?

Starmer wouldn’t have, Corbyn would jave dismantled any offensive weaponry our armed forces have to the point where we’re Dad’s Army.

So what potential Prime Minister could have deterred Russia, and how exactly do you think they could have done so better?

Monkey spanker
Monkey spanker
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

I think the idea people seem to have that a prime minister is perfect and will never say/act or do the wrong thing is silly. Everyone cocks up now and again. I think the response would be roughly the same no matter who was in charge. Ukraine is begging for kit and saying what they need. The U.K. is just giving what it has from that list. My main concern just now is getting the kit replaced and keeping the supply going. I know folks will say we don’t have the cash but I say it can. Even borrowing will… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

CR3 FOC is 2030 – they are not going to all get upgraded in a few days!
But I share your sentiment. We must have a good number of CR2, Warrior and AS90 out of service and in storage (not all in A1 nick of course) but a good proportion of that could go to Ukraine quickly. Is MoD looking at that?

Neil Ferguson
Neil Ferguson
1 month ago
Reply to  Monkey spanker

He’s the first.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Yangste Incident has a great line at the beginning… on our lawful occassions…

Why we could not have put a BG in pursuit of our lawful occassions AND in accord with our international duties to defend Ukraine, to the North of Kyiv, the Donbass and Mariupol – good job for our Bns of light infantry – I’ll never know; that’s what we could have done and so could any other NATO nation.

Russians respect force, not weakness. And led by our bin bag full of cold custard, we rolled, the Russians took.

#Tobias Ellwood for PM.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Quite agree David.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

Light infantry against a tank army? Surely not.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

The idea that Boris has to stay because nobody else is up to the job is beyond ridicle. He’s blatently not up to the job nor the character basics of PM. In those terms he’s probably in the bottom 10% of all MPs at Westminster.
There’s plenty of other Tory MPs to choose from, some of which are decent & far more capable than the very low bar set by Boris. In a series of major crisis & challanges the LAST thing we need is an idiot who can’t even manage not to do more harm.

Last edited 1 month ago by Frank62
Steve R
Steve R
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

I never said he had to stay because no one else is up to the job. That is you putting words in my mouth.

I simply asked who do you think could do better, and also (which you failed to answer) what he or anyone else exactly could have done to deter Russia?

Boris has many failings but I don’t think that Ukraine is one of them.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

I answered. Tobias Ellwood.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

100%

Colin Macleod
Colin Macleod
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

Whilst not a great supporter of Boris,I do think he has led the way.With all due respects to the American people,I do think that Mr Biden is too slow to grasp the reality.Watching the American news this past month,it is all about the arms being sent to Ukraine by the USA.Compered with what Britain has been doing for the past few months,and more,Mr Biden talks the talk.Whilst this is an eastern European issue,I wouldnt like to see American boys sacrificing their lives as they did before. I fear,or do I ?,that Nato and the EU will have to make a… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

I agree.
Naiive to think that Britain/Boris alone could have deterred Putin from invading. Biden is asleep on the job and not willing to honour the 1994 agreement (Budapest Memorandum). Boris has done all that he could which is more than most – UK has supplied more missiles than the US and were first nation to supply any lethal aid.

Esteban
Esteban
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

That is a lie. The first javelins came from Trump. That was the whole premise behind the first imaginary impeachment in the US. Try to stop with the UK-centric thing.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Lithuania was the first to supply lethal aid iirc.

Neil Ferguson
Neil Ferguson
1 month ago
Reply to  David Barry

And Germany I think.

Neil Ferguson
Neil Ferguson
1 month ago
Reply to  Steve R

What grounds do you have for saying Starmer wouldn’t have stepped up to the mark? Bojo was by no means first to anything. All he does is deflect.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

I am sure that Boris would have weighed in with honouring the UK/US Treaty if old man Biden had been up to much.
With such a limitation from our senior ally, Boris has done as much as he can and it is a lot more than most – we have supplied more missiles than the Americans.

Mike Thomas
Mike Thomas
1 month ago
Reply to  dan

Not sure I agree with your assessment. In fact POTUS affirmed the correct NATO position nothing else whilst working on a package of measures. Johnson did implement some very modest sanctions but had to play catch-up when the grown ups started to play seriously. I fact even today they are not as harsh as others have been able to implement in oligarchs because the Tories changed the laws. We now see those changes protect the Oligarchs asserts. He has been hampered greatly by the Londongrad issue. The weapons he sent were only after Russian entered when they were needed as… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike Thomas

The UK started training the Ukrainian Army in-country from 2015.
The UK was the first nation to supply lethal aid and has supplied more missiles than the US.
Boris has visited Zelensky in Kyiv; Biden has not.
Let us give credit where it is due.

David Barry
David Barry
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Moore

Umm. I’ll be diplomatic. Bollocks.

We had a small training team in a country of circa 45million. Quite what were you expecting they would achieve?

Lithuania were the first to supply lethal aid.

Bluffer did a photo op that put his CP team in danger. Nice guy.

The Cons have been slow off the mark on sanctions, very slow… too many Russian hosted, Italian parties, m’lud.

Bluffer is due credit – a live round through his skull, he is the worst PM this country has ever had; he has to go.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

Alledged photo of RFS Moskva before sinking, damaged & on fire:

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/FQlCx-cXoAkmGR3?format=jpg&name=medium

Neil Ferguson
Neil Ferguson
1 month ago

Putting a carrier in the Baltic or Black Sea for that matter would be madness when NATO already has multiple airbases in the region. Carriers are used when you do not have access to airbases. Naval forces have limited usefulness in a land battle. Not ineffective, but limited.

Last edited 1 month ago by Neil Ferguson